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  1. #1
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...

    Yesterday I arrived back from a last-minute trip to the Philippines, so here's the photo evidence.

    I'll say right now that I had a very nice time, and would look forward to visiting the Philippines again; the people were great, the sites were beautiful, it was easy and interesting to get around.

    Instead of saving the best til last, let's have the best photo first:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-1-jpg

    So, I set off early afternoon to the KTX station for my early evening flight (it takes me 2 hours to get to Incheon)...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-2-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-3-jpg

    Had 30 minutes or so before the train, so looked for something to eat.

    Perhaps some nice local food:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-4-jpg

    Instead, I decided upon:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-5-jpg

    Also took some zanax to help me along with the trip (I hate flying because the plane will be taken over by a terrorist pilot and flown into an American Embassy).

    Here comes the KTX, fast and convenient - takes an hour to Seoul then you need to change to an airport train which takes about 45 minutes once you've gone from upper level 2 to lover level 976, 348 where the airport shuttle resides...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-6-jpg

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    Journey to the centre of the Earth begins (alas, I forgot to take photos of the never-ending escalator system down):

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-10-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-8-jpg

    The wife sent me a picture; did she think I was gonna miss her and Chokdee??? Why did she think I was going on this holiday...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-9-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-11-jpg

    &... we arrive at Incheon (that's the Royal 'we') with plenty of time to get a couple of beers before my Jeju Air flight which takes 4 1/2 hours.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-12-jpg
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    How do I post these pictures???

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    ...and? Carry on. Good stuff so far.

  3. #3
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Last time I flew Jeju Air (to Danang) it was horrendous in every way, so I was extra zanaxed-up in preparation because I intended to stay mellow at all costs...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-22-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-23-jpg

    The Q was fine, getting through immigration was quick, so it was onto the beers section of flying. I had decided not to mix too much beer and zanax because I was arriving in manila after 10pm then staying a night before getting up at 6am for an early bus, so I didn't wanna go crazy...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-13-jpg

    Now, look at that price above, 30 bloody dollars for 2 beers and a salad... For reference, on the way back I paid $15 (or so) at Manila airport, in departures, for a lounge that offered so much more for so much less (don't worry, there's pictures - including one that Dilly won't even need to photoshop...). I took another couple of zanax with the beers and was starting to feel nearly there for take-off.

    A last couple of sneaky wines before take-off should do the trick (and I put a couple in my bag in case JejuAir run out of alcohol; best to be prepared...).

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-14-jpg

    &, for those of you who have never seen a plane before, this is what one looks like - a nice 737-800:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-15-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-16-jpg

    &, because this airline offer awful legroom, I paid the extra $30 each way for emergency exit seats - well worth it. & look, I have all the space to myself; probably lucky for other passengers as the alcohol and prescription drugs has me in quite a state by this stage - Mr Slaps would be proud of me...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-17-jpg

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    A couple more before take-off, for good luck, won't hurt, especially as there's nobody around for me to inanely bother...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-19-jpg

    Looking good. So, let's get those wines out:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-21-jpg

    Oh, look what happened here...

    Lucky, lucky ladies...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-20-jpg

    What a fun time we all had; who would've thought the three of us would have so snuggly fit into that toilet cubicle...
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    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-21-jpg  
    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 10:43 AM.

  4. #4
    Never Mind The Bollix
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    Hardcore Betty. Lovin it!



    This is exactly what never happens to me on any flight ever.

  5. #5
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    &, we arrive in Manila...

    The airport is fine, it was just after 10pm and the immigration wasn't crowded, took 10 minutes at most, and the immigration officer lady was very pleasant (although some Chinese tourists were being sternly told off for not staying behind the yellow line...). First impressions were good.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-24-jpg

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    I only carried one small onboard piece of luggage for my 6-day stay, so I was out the airport in a flash. Nobody gave me hassle, everyone was pleasant, I walked out of arrivals, turned left and a row of yellow metered airport-taxis awaited me. The driver was great, chatted nicely and we headed into Makati to my hotel (cost about $40 for the night, was 24 minutes from the airport and central to a nice nightlife area). BTW, taxis prices and traffic were similar to Bangkok. https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/hotel-du....html?cid=-218

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-screenshot-2019-02-16-12-58-a

    You can see the airport at the bottom; the star where I stayed the first night; the smaller polygon for the Mall of Asia where I was fortunate enough to meet Katie23 on the last day of the trip; top left you can see the walled-city where I visited with Katie23 and have many photos later.

    Here's the hotel (the staff were very friendly and efficient - I don't think I met a single Philippine who wasn't friendly and polite during my entire stay):

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-26-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-27-jpg

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    I had a bite to eat then had a look around and a couple of beers...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-29-jpg

    There were nice restaurants which were akin to Thonglor, there were bars and restaurants which were akin to upper-Suk, and there was a street that had a dozen or so interspersed bars with ladies (and katoeys for Papillion) that was similar in some ways to Soi Cowboy, but less tacky, felt less outright dirty, and the people around were much friendlier and less 'aggressive'. I had a good look around, the area seemed safe, people were friendly including the touts and doormen. I had a decent drink and made it back to the hotel just after 4am... I planned to get up at 6am for the bus.

    In case one is wondering, I found the Philippine ladies of the night to be very friendly and easy to talk to (I didn't wanna shag anybody, but I did want to get a 'feel' for the area) although personally Thai ladies are generally speaking more attractive to my mind. Having said that, attraction is not only at the surface level, and maybe it was the lack of language barrier, maybe the genuine friendliness, I cannot say for sure, but the Philippine people generally were very nice and easy to be around.
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    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 11:23 AM.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Travel, good looking girls (and boys), and prescription drugs.. This thread has it all.

    Nice one, Betty. Green owed.

  7. #7
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who advised on where to go on this trip and why, especially Katie23's great photo threads. There are so many islands and lovely places to visit, but I decided upon, a bit of a look around Manila, using many different local forms of transportation and most days relaxing on an island doing some work, eating some food, drinking a few beers...

    This entire section will look remarkably similar to katie23's thread on PG (I stole most of her ideas, took TD screenshots on my phone, and the actual doing of it was a breeze).

    Yes, I got up at 6am, didn't feel great at all, but got up, jumped into a cab to the JAL bus terminal which took about 20 minutes because there was already plenty of traffic on the roads (the terminal is only about 2kms from the hotel - one of the main reasons I booked that hotel...). Got on a bus to Batangas, paid about 200 pesos and fell asleep for 2 hours (I found the seats a strange size/angle, so got a bit of neck ache).

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-30-jpg

    The bus stops at the pier, head left to T3, well signposted, a 2 minute walk mostly under cover, bought ticket for the next boat (12:30, so waited around for nearly 4 hours...). Cost about 300 pesos - not a lot...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-31-jpg

    This ticket H (as A) was a window seat on this boat.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-32-jpg

    Paid about 25 pesos as a pier fee (this kinda fee was at all piers I went to, in and out of the island, but it's a small price to pay for the upkeep of the piers, and these were generally good, so...). Had a couple of slices of pizza and a water or 3, cost not very much..., got on the boat which was comfortable enough, full - full-sized folk would have struggled with the seat sizes.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-33-jpg


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    The trip took 90 minutes, and the view was nice (although the window wasn't offering the best view).

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-36-jpg

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    & the hair is looking goooooood. I don't care what the wife says, or the management at work, or random looks from folks in the street, I'm leaving it to do its own thing...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-40-jpg

    Next up, the island itself...
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    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 12:05 PM.

  8. #8
    En route
    Cujo's Avatar
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    Good stuff. I do like a travel pics thread. Too few these days.

  9. #9
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    &, we arrive...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-41-jpg

    Getting off the boat, first impressions at Muelle Pier are good - it's beautiful, more pictures of this area later; only one for now:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-42-jpg

    I was staying for the first 3 days at Sabang Beach, so jumped off the pier, paid 20 pesos rr so, jumped into a tricycle and headed to Sabang Beach for about 200 pesos. The journey takes about 30 minutes, the road is being re-laid so is often 1 lane only, and goes up a hill before heading back down to Sabang, at the top you have beautiful views of the sea on both sides because it's a small peninsular between Muelle Pier and Sabang Beach.

    Here's coming into Sabang:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-43-jpg

    By the way, there's a visa ATM in a bank here that was the only one I could find that actually worked - telephone line problems very often for connection, and this one only worked in the afternoons. And what's this bloody Korean restaurant??? There were lots of Koreans and Chinese tourists.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-44-jpg

    The next few pictures are walking along Sabang Beach to my guesthouse which is at the very end and up a hill. It's a small beach, so we're talking 10 minute walk here (until the last bit with steps...).

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-45-jpg

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    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 12:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat reinvented's Avatar
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    great stuff. and good work on swerving both local cuisines. flipper beer is good though

  11. #11
    I'm in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post

    Here's the hotel (the staff were very friendly and efficient -
    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-26-jpg

    .
    Well, great thread so far Bets, I have to say that receiving a packet of Scampi Fries instead of the usual chocolate or towel made into a swan gets my vote anyday...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-snack-jpg

    I am a bit disappointed with no Mac Mini porn...
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  12. #12
    I'm in Jail

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    Nice documentary on your trip thus far boo. Keep 'em comming.

    I did a trip a bit ago as well. I'm still going through things like pics, videos and detox. It never helps when every where you go folks are handing you drinks.
    fish.

  13. #13
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Nearly at the end of the beach...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-48-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-49-jpg

    & now the steps, there are 70, pretty steep:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-50-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-51-jpg

    Nearly at the top, a stop to look down at the view:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-52-jpg

    &, this is the view from the veranda of Grace Hotel (about $25 per night):https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/grace-gu...k=636859185743

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-53-jpg

    The room has a balcony, a big bed, a fridge, a kitchen area and an Asian style bathroom:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-56-jpg

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    Sabang is pretty noisy at times, it's a bit of a party beach with lots of diving going on too, so this guest house was perfect for my needs - quiet, but 5 minutes walk from the closest beer on the beachfront, and 10 minutes walk from the centre of the nightlife.
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  14. #14
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    I was still quite tired from the travel, it was about 2:30pm, but I had a lie down for maybe 3 hours then got up and went for a walk around, tried some food...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-60-jpg

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    This dim sum was from a corner kiosk, local style, cheap - the taste was awful, so I bought something else from the same kiosk, as you do:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-62-jpg

    At the time, I wasn't impressed, but as things turned out this was one of the best tasting (I use the term loosely) foods I ate from the 10+ different places I tried over the next few days.

    OK, I'm gonna say it now, it's not a complaint, but I was surprised when compared to places such as Vietnam and Thailand that both the street food and many of the restaurants that I tried had significantly poorer food. I did find some nice food, and I'll highlight these, but 80% of the time the food I was served up would have been returned if I was given that in England, Thailand or Korea. It wasn't just the Philippine owned places because places like the Aussie bar where you'd expect a nice pie and breakfast also (despite having good ingredients) just over-cooked the food and/or didn't flavour it - strange...

    I await folks who live in the Philippines telling me I'm wrong, and maybe I was just unlucky or chose my food stops badly - it didn't put a downer on my holiday or anything like that, but was noticeable.

    Right, back to pictures...
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  15. #15
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^You're not wrong re food, in my opinion. I've lived here 24 years, and have never had a really good Filipino meal. My wife is a chef, and cooks excellent other-than-Filipino food, but even her Filipino dishes suck. I also have never really understood it - great fresh seafood, great pork and chicken, same vegetables as neighboring countries, yet they can render even in most basic Filipino dishes barely edible. The country has many things to like, but food isn't one of them.

  16. #16
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    The next day, I got up, sat on the balcony and did a couple of hours of work.

    The weather/air quality was great, and everything in the world was gooooooood...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-64-jpg

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    ^ the air quality in Korea is terrible, some of the worst fine dust air quality in the world, so having such clean air felt great.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-69-jpg

    I put the work away went for a 120 pesos breakfast, including drink (nothing wrong with it, per se, but not very tasty to my mind - I did want to try out the different foods and had heard about the garlic rice and corned beef breakfast; not for me...).

    The weather was perfect and really nice views - all felt a bit similar to Thailand 20 years ago (I say that in a positive way).

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-71-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-70-jpg

    The Bikini Bar below had a boat which would take you out for a beer on the sea - I thought about going, folks said it was pretty nice, but didn't make it out there; probably should have, but saw a fair few Chinese/Koreans heading out there, so decided not to.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-72-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-73-jpg


    I tried this local dish, it was pork and chicken mixed and tasted ok; again, not my thing.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-74-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-75-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-76-jpg

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-77-jpg

    Had a drink or two here and there, the occasional chat, some beers, and the night arrived...
    A very pleasant day, just what the doctor ordered - very relaxed, did plenty of work too...
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    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 05:07 PM.

  17. #17
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    Bets, I was going to ask about the food, its does not have a good reputation (DK confirms - love the quote re his wife's flippa food) but would have thought being by the sea you'd secure some decent fish and seafood at least.

    Great that you managed to catch up with Katie, and well done her, she really goes out of her way to give info and meet posters.


    {QUOTE=Davis Knowlton;3900838] My wife is a chef, and cooks excellent other-than-Filipino food, but even her Filipino dishes suck. I also have never really understood it - great fresh seafood, great pork and chicken, same vegetables as neighboring countries, yet they can render even in most basic Filipino dishes barely edible. The country has many things to like, but food isn't one of them.[/QUOTE]

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^You're not wrong re food, in my opinion. I've lived here 24 years, and have never had a really good Filipino meal. My wife is a chef, and cooks excellent other-than-Filipino food, but even her Filipino dishes suck. I also have never really understood it - great fresh seafood, great pork and chicken, same vegetables as neighboring countries, yet they can render even in most basic Filipino dishes barely edible. The country has many things to like, but food isn't one of them.
    Concur. There's a very good reason Filipino food has never taken off around the world like pretty much every other country in the region (Indo, Malay, Viet, Chinese, Thai, Indian, etc). But even with good ingredients doing Western food they still fuck it up, exceptions being many of the $$$ high end restos in Manila. It is what it is.

  19. #19
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    The next day was more of the same. I tried to get at least 6 hours of work done a day, here and there, ate and drank - drank and chatted quite a lot on one day...

    A few more pics here, some of food and one to end of the lovely place:

    Breakfast came included at my place, couldn't eat it...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-20190212_082844-jpg

    But, I really fancied a big fry up, so walked to the other end of the beach to the Australian bar which had a full English breakfast. It was terrible... Just looked like they'd thrown decent ingredients all together into a deep-fat fryer.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-20190211_121906-jpg

    But, there was a nice little bakery that made up rolls, had some nice cheeses and salamis, so I grabbed a couple of those and headed back to my balcony to do a bit more work.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-20190211_165251-jpg

    the weather and air quality were still great and the view was still pretty nice. I enjoyed my time on this beach a lot, but 3 days was enough for what I wanted to do. If you wanted to dive or to go to the numerous bars full of women then you could spend longer. The Korean/Chinese guys seemed to go out about 7pm, pick up a 'gf' from the club/bar, take her to dinner, tour the beach, have a few drinks, fuk the night away and pay up the 4,000 pesos. I did pop into these bars and the ladies were nice, friendly; told me the details that I just told you. There were even a few ladyboys for Paps. &, a few spas which looked nice. There were lots of hawkers, but I smiled, said no thank you, sometimes had a little chat, and everyone was very nice.

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    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 05:38 PM.

  20. #20
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Photos from most recent posts aren't coming through.......Posts 16 & 19.
    Last edited by Davis Knowlton; 16-02-2019 at 03:06 PM.

  21. #21
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    ^ ok, thanks, I'll check.

    The next day, I got a tricycle over to Muelle Pier to stay at Badboyz which was about $40 per night - it's a diving place. I thought about doing some diving, but got into my work, so didn't...https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/badladz-...avellerType=-1

    Located right at the pier and next to the coast guard.

    It is a beautiful bay, and this place is right on the front, so you get lovely views from the balcony and the restaurant - the food here is decent (breakfast had a Mexican option that I took which tasted good), and the beer was a lot cheaper; here it was 60 pesos while in Sabang it was between 100-350 pesos depending where you were.

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    The room was quite big, clean, well appointed and the staff were very pleasant and professional.

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    The little town around the pier is fairly basic with simple shops, a couple of schools, etc, just a normal little community - not particularly well-off, perhaps even the kinda place where Mr Sausage would feel comfortable berating the locals.

    I stopped at a few shops buying stuff like toothpaste, water, headache tablets, etc, and the people were very friendly; pace of life was slow.

    There was a busy little hole-in-the-wall selling dim sum, so after my previous experience I thought I'd give it a try.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-83-jpg

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    It was terrible.

    Back at the dive resort, I sat down thinking how beautiful the bay was and how good life was when my senses were assaulted in a most unpleasant way - it was so noticeably unpleasant that I took a screenshot of the exact time to remind myself:

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-screenshot_20190212-164432_samsung-experience-home-jpg

    Firstly, while sitting at the front, doing a bit of work, enjoying the view, a group of three Chinese ladies, divers, sat down, and they were very loud. One clearly had a cold and was snorting up flem non-stop. Horrible.

    Then, next door, the building site started to ramp up noise something awful - I noticed that earlier hence why I went for a walk around town, but they got the big drills out...

    The burning of plastic or diesel fumes or something, only lasted about an hour, but I was close to checking out there and then - it made me feel sick, literally.

    It turns out that one of the guys from the coast guard was on his birthday, so they rolled the karaoke machine out and started the drinking and 'singing' - to be fair to them they stopped just after 10pm.

    That was a shit few hours... But, to be fair to the hotel, none of these things were within their control - it was just one of those days.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-85-jpg

    Chokdee would not have been impressed at all.
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    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 03:50 PM.

  22. #22
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    The next day, my last day on the island, I decided that the pier wasn't the place for me thus I headed to the sister resort which was 5 minutes tricycle up the road - had it's own little beach, very quiet and just a lovely place to relax.
    https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/badladz-...=-1&tspTypes=4

    I stayed there all day, eating, drinking, doing work and relaxing. The food was better than most places although a few minutes less cooking of the Spanish mackerel would have made for a great simple meal; oh well, nearly...

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-20190213_120623-jpg

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    Did lots of work, relaxed, went inside and out, ate, drank and the entire day cost me 1,000 pesos or so.

    Chokdee would have been impressed, and so was I.

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-1550054373994-jpg

    I then walked back to town, slept soundly.
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    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 05:31 PM.

  23. #23
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^No pix again.

  24. #24
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Next morning, 5am...

    Boat back to the main island then up to Manila to meet up with Katie23!

    Photothread: Manila & Puerto Galera...-20190214_053907-jpg

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    Just a weird point here: this 'big' boats are slower than the smaller traditional looking boats (90 minutes on these bigger boats instead of 60 minutes on the smaller traditional boats). I don't know why that is, but both Sabang and Muelle piers are having work done to them, and the smaller boats are being phased out - or at least that's what I was told.
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    Last edited by Bettyboo; 16-02-2019 at 05:35 PM.

  25. #25
    I'm in Jail

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    See i'm thinking Mac Mini ain't so hot Bets...

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